How to Prepare Your Car for a Trade-In

May 24th, 2021 by

A trade-in can put the cost of a new purchase within your reach at Preston Hood Chevrolet by lowering the amount that you have to finance. If you want to get the highest price on your offer, you have to prepare your car by following these tips.

Restore the Interior

The key to preparing your vehicle for trade-in is to restore it to as original condition as possible. Start by emptying the interior of all your travel remains, including children’s toys, media, emergency kits, and air fresheners. Anything that was not part of the original purchase should be removed because you’re not going to get any credit for it anyway.

Vacuum the insides especially the upholstery, carpet, and dashboard. Buy some automobile interior cleaner from an auto parts store and use this to spruce up hard surfaces like the dashboard and the door panels. Don’t forget to take care of the interior of the windshield and the windows.

If you removed any accessories and parts that were original to your purchase, you may get dinged for their absence. Do your best to restore them to the interior. Some things to look for are the owner’s manual, the operations manual for the infotainment system, and the original toolkit. While you’re at it, bring any extra keys with you, which will spare us from having to make duplicates.

Fix Minor Problems

If your vehicle has a few minor problems, try to fix them on your own. Scratches on the surface can usually be fixed and cloudy headlamps lenses can also be restored, both with do-it-yourself kits from an auto parts store.

Have a friend try and turn on all the exterior lights while you walk around your vehicle. You can usually replace any burned-out bulbs yourself. Go on a test drive and take note of any problems. You can quickly take care of some things, such as low tire pressure or an empty windshield washer reservoir. However, don’t bother with any major repairs because the certified auto techs at our service department can fix those issues.

Clean the Exterior

The exterior of your vehicle offers a first impression that can only be enhanced with a like-new shine, so take the time to clean the exterior either on your own or by taking it to a car wash. Don’t forget areas that are normally neglected, such as the tires or the underbody. If you’d rather get someone else to do it, try an auto detailer. When you’re done cleaning, apply a fresh coat of auto wax to protect your efforts.

Include the Documents

You’re going to need several documents to transfer the car to us including the title and registration. All your service records will also be helpful because cars that have been maintained on their regular schedule retain more of their value. You don’t have to print out a vehicle history report because we can obtain that ourselves.

Discover the Value

You won’t know if what we’re offering you for your trade-in is worth it unless you determine the value of the vehicle beforehand. You can find that information on several websites including Kelley Blue Book. Keep in mind that the values you receive on many of the sites may be the retail price that you can expect if you sell your car to a third party. We can only offer you a high wholesale because we still need to make a profit on the deal itself. The advantage of the Kelly Blue Book site is that it breaks down its values by trade-in and private party.

What to Do Next

Before you come down, you might want to know how different trade-in values can affect your monthly installment and the total cost of your loan. We at Preston Hood Chevrolet have a handy Payment Calculator that you can use online that lets you play with the price, interest rate, loan term, trade-in value, and down payment.

You can also pre-qualify for a loan by filling out an Online Application Form that lets you specify the trade-in make, model, mileage, and loan balance if any. We can then more accurately estimate the financing that you qualify for. You can then shop for cars within our designated price range.

Posted in Tips